Matorka’s business relies on Iceland’s abundant natural resources, and they decided to pursue land-based aquaculture as part of their commitment to using those resources sustainably.

Our Role

After having designed the station inhouse, Matorka came to the Freshwater Institute for our expertise in sustainable aquaculture technology, particularly a form of technology known as recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), which makes it possible to grow fish on land without the use of antibiotics, while reusing water, repurposing waste and minimizing negative effects on wild fish populations.

The Freshwater Institute was contracted as an independent third party aquaculture engineer to analyze and verify the basic designs drawn by Matorka´s chief operating officer. Because of Matorka’s unique location above volcanic rock—which naturally helps provide abundant clean water—as well as their use of the country’s geothermal power supply, the company was well-suited to an approach that uses partial reuse aquaculture systems (PRAS). With its unique PRAS system, Matorka pulls water from underground sources, uses that water and then filters and reuses it multiple times through the system’s tanks before being filtered and released into the ocean.

"Our mission through our new state-of-the-art facility is to both produce a superior seafood product and use the resources that make this product possible in a sustainable way. The Freshwater Institute’s technical knowledge and industry expertise throughout each phase of the process gave us and our investors the confidence we needed for the project."

— Arni Pall Einarsson, CEO, Matorka

Throughout the planning, design and construction process, the Freshwater Institute provided expertise through technical and biological design review, due diligence and design services to address specific detailed issues.

Why this project matters

Matorka achieved its first harvest at the new Grindavik facility in 2017 with a capacity of 1,500 metric tons. After the success of this first phase, Matorka is now doubling in size to a 3,000 metric ton capacity, making them one of the largest land-based fish farms in the world. At the Freshwater Institute, we make it a priority to share our knowledge and technical expertise with those in the aquaculture industry. It’s part of our mission to support access to local, healthy, sustainable seafood for consumers everywhere.

Learn more

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